There’s no substitute for an old-school road trip. The road as an abstract concept occupies a special place in our cultural psyche, and serves to embody that sense of restless freedom which is a crucial component of the human experience.
One of the most compelling movies in which the road, with all its accompanying conative and metaphorical values, plays an integral part is the Mexican classic “Y Tu Mamá También” (And Your Mother Too), which details the exploits of two Mexican adolescents and their attempts to use sex to establish themselves as men in the eyes of the world.
While the film’s plot is not necessarily something you’d wish to emulate, Mexico certainly is a fantastic country to plan a road trip in. Its sheer size and the cultural plurality it contains, with local cuisine, dress and even language changing every few miles in some parts of the country, mean you’ll never be the same person after a road trip in Mexico.
Thanks to online booking websites, making arrangements to travel by bus and train has never been easier, but there is still something about the allure of the road that always makes a road trip seem appealing.
Mexico City is the logical place to start, due to its central location and the ease of renting a car there. it’s advisable to use a car with Mexican licence plates, so as to avoid attracting in wanted attention -Mexico is a beautiful country, but there are risks to factor in.
Once out of Mexico City, the whole of this incredible country really is your oyster. With so many options, you are genuinely spoilt for choice. One of the most popular areas to travel through, however, which straddles the states of Oaxaca, Puebla and Guerrero, is La Mixteca.
La Mixteca is one of the most beautiful regions of the country, with winding mountain roads which offer stunning panoramas and breath-taking views. From an anthropological perspective, it is also one of the most fascinating regions of the country, and boasts an incredible amount of linguistic and cultural diversity.
In fact, many locals round these parts may not even speak Spanish, speaking only one or more of the over 50 varieties of the indigenous Mixteca language.
Head south through La Mixteca, stopping off in its quaint mountain settlements to try the delicious local gastronomy, of course, and you’ll arrive at the city of Oaxaca, capital city of the state of Oaxaca. Oaxaca really is a gem of a place: considered the country’s gastronomic capital (and that’s saying something), and with an embarrassment of cultural riches on offer including free classical and traditional music, poetry readings and art exhibitions, Oaxaca really does have it all.
If your wanderlust still hasn’t been satisfied, the drive from Oaxaca to the beautiful Pacific coast takes roughly 8 hours and is one of the most scenic drives in all of Mexico. It’s not all easy going, but the rewards make it worthwhile. Conditions are rarely ideal, however, so plan ahead and always err on the side of caution.